Tsukushi-Ryôkai (fss-708)


Please note this is a important school of swordsmiths. These swords are highly desirable for collecting and not commonly found.

Tsukushi-Ryôkai (筑紫了戒)

The Tsukushi-Ryôkai group goes back to the later Ryôkai smith Yoshisada (能定) who moved towards the end of the Nanbokuchô period from Kyôto to Usa (宇佐) which was located along the border between the provinces of Buzen and Bungo. His students and their students spread then from the beginning of the Muromachi period onwards across the northern provinces of Kyûshû, e.g. Chikuzen, Chikugo, and Buzen whereas they were summarized by referring to the old name for that region, Tsukushi. Most smiths of this group used Ryôkai as a trade name, signing it as prefix to their own name, for example “Ryôkai Yoshizane” (了戒能真), most of them sharing the character for “Yoshi” (能). Known individual smiths from that grou are Hideyoshi (秀能), Nobuyoshi (宣能), and Naoyoshi (直能), just to name a few. Most Tsukushi-Ryôkai works are of a rustic charme that is typical for provincial works of the Muromachi period and basically follow the stylistic roots of the group, which are to be found in the Ryôkai interpretation of the Yamashiro tradition. Although not displaying a highly sophisticated workmanship in general, Tsukushi-Ryôkai were held in high regards among Sengoku bushi because they enjoyed the reputation of being good and reliable weapons, and this applies to other contemporary Kyûshû swordsmith groups like that of the Dôtanuki School of Higo province and the Takada School of Bungo province.

This is a fine example of the koto era Ryôkai blade.  This sword was shortened to wakazashi size at 20 1 / 2″ with 3 holes in the tang“.The sword is most likely from the late Nambokucho through the early Muramachi period. The hamon is a suguha with a hada of itame emulating the Yamashiro style.

The blade is mounted in shirasaya with gold emalgamated habaki in an older polish. A fresh polish would greatly enhance this blade and highlight it true characteristics.

The sword fittings are older and were mounted into WWII mounts with a leather cover over the original saya.  Generally this was done with Katana not wakazashi.  When wakazashi were mounted like this it indicates that it was more than likely used as a pilots sword. Aircraft pilots had wakazashi because of the size in there cockpit.  Also a very interesting historic fact.

The sword comes with a set of papers from the NBTHK attesting to the authenticity and validity of the sword


  • Mei: Mumei
  • Date: Koto Era
  • Nagasa: 20.1/2 inches
  • Sori: 13.0 mm
  • Width at the ha-machi: 24.9 mm
  • Width at the yokote: 16.1 mm
  • Thickness at the mune-machi: 6.9 mm
  • Construction: Shinogi zukuri
  • Mune: Iori
  • Nakago: O-suriage
  • Kitae: Itame
  • Hamon: Suguba
  • Boshi: Maru
  • Condition: Good older polish
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Click to Enlarge Image
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This sword is on consignment.
Special Sale Price
On Hold

Asking price: $4,600.00

(shipping and insurance included)
Email us if your interested in this item and remember to include the order number for this item: fss-633.
Click to Enlarge Image
Click to Enlarge Image

kantei-sho (鑑定書) No 381979 wakizashi, mumi: Tsukushi-Ryôkai (筑紫了戒)

nagasa 1 shaku 7 sun 2 bu Migi wa tô-kyôkai ni oite shinsa no kekka, hozon-tôken to kantei-shi kore o shô-suru.

Heisei nijûichinen ichigatsu nijûkunichi (平成二十一年一月二十九日)
zaidan-hôjin (財團法人): Nihon Bijutsu Tôken Hozon Kyôkai (日本美術刀劍保存協會)

wakizashi, unsigned: Tsukushi Ryôkai

nagasa ~ 52.1 cm According to the result of the shinsa committee of our society we judged this work as authentic and designate

it as hozon-tôken. January 29th 2009 [Foundation] NBTHK

MY INVESTMENT -30% = my bottom line

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